Okay, that's vaguely creepy. Also very sad. My condolences to any of David's family/friends who come across this thread...
Originally Posted by Jamesj
Good sleuthing to put that together. Very sad. Comes from my neck of the woods, but don't believe I know him. Sorry for thread hijack, but doesn't it seem like "hitting a tree" ski accidents are up? I'd blame it on the rise in popularity of tree skiing, but seems like most of the deadly types of these accidents come from people hitting trees on/near while skiing groomers and I'm not sure what's with that??
Hitting a fixed obstacle on or adjacent to a groomed trail after losing control has been the most common way that skiers/riders die on the slopes for quite some time. Avalanche and NARSID (tree well 'drowning') deaths are more sensational, so they tend to get talked about more, but both are relatively rare, especially inbounds. I'm not aware of any significant increases in accident rates in recent years. It may be somewhat worse overall than before 'shaped' skis were common, since those (sometimes) encourage higher speed skiing from intermediates. (I'm not saying this guy didn't know what he was doing; if he flew out for NASTAR Nationals he was probably quite skilled.)
Even at 'recreational' speeds, if you catch an edge or lose a ski on a groomed trail, you can slide a long way before you come to a stop -- much further than people often realize, especially if it's steep and the snow is firm/icy. Centripetal force/momentum pulls you to the outside while turning, so if you're near the edge of a trail and lose it near the apex of a turn there's a 50% chance of being hurled towards the trees. You don't have to hit your head that hard to get a fatal injury, and at high enough speeds even hitting something with your chest/torso is likely to be deadly.